What a confused little movie The Tale of Despereaux turned out to be. It tried to be a charming movie about an adorable mouse with incredibly large ears, and I suppose, in short, it was successfully that. But how I wish it had only been that. Instead of resting on its laurels, The Tale of Despereaux tried to jam so much unnecessary bullshit into the storyline that, in the end, it felt like a shallow, confusing, melting pot of just about every life lesson you could ever want to teach a 5-year-old.
The trouble starts when the queen suddenly dies. That makes both the princess and the king incredibly sad. Understandable. So then the king rashly bans both soup and rats (which are both sort of responsible for the queen's death... sort of).
The rats run away to hide in Ratworld, and the mice go to Mouseworld, and the rest of the people, who can no longer have delicious soup, just hang out being depressed. Then we meet the demented fat girl with a pig nose and a mentally unstable chef who has an imaginary friend made out of vegetables.
WHAT? THE FUCK?
Meanwhile, Despereaux the mouse is dealing with his own problems—he's different than all the other mice and not scared of anything. Especially humans, because he's in love with the sad princess. But that's bad, to love a human, so they banish him to Ratworld where he meets that rat partially responsible for killing the queen, who's having an identity crisis of his own! Everyone in this movie is having an identity crisis, actually.
Then the narrator (Sigourney Weaver) starts asking questions like "So think about this: What happens when you make something illegal that is a natural part of the world?" and "What would you do if your own name were a bad word?"
Yeah, kid, what would you do if your name were Cocksucking Motherfucker? WHO CARES! Just make the cute mouse do cute shit like sword-fight while wearing a silly little cap and tights and get on with it!